The retail food environment may be one important determinant of dietary intake. However, limited research focuses on individuals’ food shopping behavior and activity within the retail food environment. This study’s aims were to determine the association between six various dietary indicators and 1) food venue availability; 2) food venue choice and frequency; and 3) availability of healthy food within food venue.
In Fall, 2011, a cross-sectional survey was conducted among adults (n=121) age 18 years and over in Lexington, Kentucky. Participants wore a global position system (GPS) data logger for 3-days (2 weekdays and 1 weekend day) to track their daily activity space, which was used to assess food activity space. They completed a survey to assess demographics, food shopping behaviors, and dietary outcomes. Food store audits were conducted using the Nutrition Environment Measurement Survey-Store Rudd (NEMS-S) in stores where respondents reported purchasing food (n=22). Multivariate logistic regression was used to examine associations between six dietary variables with food venue availability within activity space; food venue choice; frequency of shopping; and availability of food within food venue.
1) Food venue availability within activity space – no significant associations. 2) Food Venue Choice – Shopping at farmers’ markets or specialty grocery stores reported higher odds of consuming fruits and vegetables (OR 1.60 95% CI [1.21, 2.79]). Frequency of shopping - Shopping at a farmers’ markets and specialty stores at least once a week reported higher odds of consumption of fruits and vegetables (OR 1.55 95% CI [1.08, 2.23]). Yet, shopping frequently at a super market had higher odds of consuming sugar-sweetened beverages (OR 1.39 95% CI [1.03, 1.86]). 3) Availability of food within store – those who shop in supermarkets with high availability of healthy food has lower odds of consuming sugar-sweetened beverages (OR 0.65 95% CI [0.14, 0.83]).
Interventions aimed at improving fruit and vegetable intake need to consider where individuals’ purchase food and the availability within stores as a behavioral and environmental strategy.||en_US